It’s that time again—the 28th time, in fact—and the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Survey is now available. This important industry landmark helps automakers and auto buyers alike by showing how three year old vehicles are faring now that they are out performing in the world. That data empowers people to understand how to purchase their next vehicle and it gives every brand an idea of its comparative standings in all the classes where it competes.
Why the VDS is Important
Buying a new vehicle is a long-term investment that involves choices that buyers will feel for years to come, which is why it is important to gather data that helps them to understand exactly what choices to make as they shop for vehicles. Without that data, there would be little to fact-check automaker claims about comparative quality or performance, especially not during a critical time like the third year of ownership, when most vehicles are toward the end of their lifespan with their original owners.
This year saw an increase in vehicle dependability industry-wide, but a small one, as the VDS shows that the industry-wide ranking has improved to 156 PP100 this year. What that means is that for every 100 vehicles on the road in the study, there were 156 problems reported, an average of one and a half per vehicle. It also saw rapid improvement from one particular brand, Hyundai, which went up 13 places in its total nameplate ranking and became the most improved automaker this year.
The real news I the result for Toyota, though. The automaker continues to dominate, with top results in 10 of 18 categories and top ratings for both its brands. The main Toyota brand came in third, behind a two-way tie between Porsche and Lexus, Toyota’s premium brand.
Auto manufacturers are no doubt using this information already, planning the next generation of vehicle improvements and looking to outcompete each other to push themselves, and by extension the entire industry, to create more reliable and longer-lasting cars. For consumers, these results can be a great way to navigate the market as well, because they show you how each individual vehicle is doing.